TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Switch and Dimmer Reviews

Compatible Hubs:
Compatible Voice Assistants: , ,
Protocols:

Heads Up: TP-Link recently introduced a new smart switch that includes integrated access to a voice assistant. The new device is expected to be available in mid-2019. More info.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch and the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer
The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch on the left and the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer on the right

Our Verdict

TP-Link's Kasa brand switches are Wi-Fi smart switches that are a good option if you don't want to add an additional hub to your system. They work well with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana voice assistants. The Kasa Smart app may feel cartoon-ish, but it is very easy to use. The switches are easy to program and include most of the important features.

Look at other options if you want to have your lights turn on automatically (without using another service) when you arrive home. The switches don't work with Apple HomeKit, which may be a deal-breaker for some people.

What We Like:

  • Works on Wi-Fi, no additional hub required
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Nest
  • Vacation Mode to randomize lights

Flaws:

  • Requires a neutral wire
  • No geofencing without IFTTT

Before You Buy:

  • Make sure that you have neutral wires in your switch box.

Alternatives:

  • Consider the Lutron Caseta system if you don't have a neutral wire or if you want to make use of geofencing.
  • If you have a neutral wire, you can also consider the Wemo switches.

Description

The Kasa light switch and dimmer control your lights using your existing Wi-Fi system so you don't have to add an additional hub in your home. The switches communicate to the Kasa servers via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, which is widely available in most homes. Since they run on Wi-Fi, they easily integrate with popular voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. In addition, you can also link to Nest services.

Both devices look like a standard rocker switch and are compatible with all plastic rocker faceplates, but they also come with their own screw-less snap-on cover plate. The rocker rectangle angles out slightly at the bottom and functions as a button for turning your lights on and off.

Keep in mind that all of the Kasa switches require a neutral wire, which we will discuss in more detail below. In addition, the switches only come in white.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch

The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch is a classic on/off smart switch that can be controlled locally, via an app, or with a connected voice assistant. The large rectangle rocker is an on/off button. It doesn't actually rock; rather, a press of the button turns the lights on or off.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Features
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Features

There are two main LED idicators on the button. The larger circle power indicator glows a dim white when the switch is off so you can locate it in a dark room. Just above the power indicator is a Wi-Fi symbol that is usually not visible. However, this icon lights up red if there is no Wi-Fi connection.

Below the rocker button are two small buttons. The left button is used to completely reset the switch, while the right button reboots the switch in case you are having trouble with it. You shouldn't need these buttons very often and they are out of the way to avoid accidental presses.

The Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch is 1.5" deep and TP-Link recommends that your electrical back box be deeper than 2". The electrical back box and faceplate should be plastic to allow Wi-Fi signals to get to the internal radio antenna.

The Light Switch works with almost any light bulb and it can also control ceiling fans or other small appliances. The switch is rated for use on 15 Amp electrical circuits with a maximum load of 600 watts for incandescent bulbs.

The HS200 light switch is a single pole switch so it is not compatible in a three-way application. TP-Link makes the Kasa HS210 for three-way configurations, which we cover in more detail below.

Included in the box with the switch are a faceplate, wire nuts, and a Quick Start Guide.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer operates just like the regular switch, but it also includes dimming capability. It works with voice assistants and via the Kasa app. Like the switch, the dimmer is a single-pole device that does not work in a three-way light switch application.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer Features
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer Features

Like the regular switch, the dimmer also has the switch button, power indicator, Wi-Fi indicator, and reset/restart buttons. However, the dimmer has a few extra controls.

Above the main On/Off rectangle button you will find two small buttons that dim the lights or increase the light levels. In addition, there are a series of LED lights that indicate the light level you currently have set.

The Kasa dimmer switch is 1.77" deep so you'll need an electrical box that is deeper than 2" to accommodate the dimmer and associated wiring. As with all Wi-Fi switches, the electrical box and coverplate should be plastic so the antenna can receive signals.

Dimmers are limited in the kinds of lights they can control. Kasa doesn't have any information about what bulbs they have tested with, but they indicate that their dimmer works with incandescent and dimmable LED bulbs. Of course, it would be helpful to know what LEDs have been tested with the switches so you can avoid flickering. The dimmer is rated for 15 amp circuits and it can handle a maximum 300 watt incandescent load or a 150 watt LED load.

Included in the box with the dimmer switch are a faceplate, wire nuts, wire labels, and a Quick Start Guide.

Features Comparison

The following table shows the features of the standard Kasa Smart Light Switch and the Switch/Dimmer. We will go over many of the features in more detail below.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer
Model Number
HS200
Model Number
HS220
Neutral Wire
Required
Neutral Wire
Required
Three-Way
No, single pole only
Three-Way
No, single pole only
Communications
Wi-Fi - 2.4 GHz
Communications
Wi-Fi - 2.4 GHz
Compatible Bulbs
Incandescent, LED, Halogen, CFL
Compatible Bulbs
Incandescent, Dimmable LED
Vacation Mode
Yes
Vacation Mode
Yes
Color
White
Color
White
List Price (Dec 2018)
$50
List Price (Dec 2018)
$60
Buy Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch at Amazon Buy Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch/Dimmer at Amazon

Neutral Wire Requirements

Many smart switches require a neutral wire, which provides a constant flow of power even when the switch is turned off. This allows the device to keep the radios running for communications. All of the Kasa light switches require a neutral wire to operate so make sure you have one in your switch box before you make a purchase.

You can read more about neutral wires in our article, Smart Switches – No Neutral Wire. If you are looking for smart switches or dimmers that don't require a neutral, we recommend the Lutron Caséta system.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch 3-Way Kit

While neither the Kasa Smart WiFi Light Switch nor the Light Switch/Dimmer work in a three-way setup, Kasa does have a solution. TP-Link sells a three-way switch package (model number: HS210 KIT), with a list price of $67.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch 3-Way Kit
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch 3-Way Kit

The Kasa Three-Way Switch Kit, which is available on Amazon, includes a pair of light switches that replace your existing three-way switches. They work just like the HS200 switches, including compatibility with popular voice assistants. Unfortunately, these do not have dimming capability.

Vacation Mode

Kasa includes an Away Mode for most of their devices, including switches, dimmers, and smart plugs. This feature makes it look like someone is home by turning the lights on and off randomly. You simply schedule times for Away Mode to operate in the app and the system takes care of everything from there.

Geofencing

Sadly, the Kasa light switches do not have built-in geofencing capability. This means you cannot automatically control your lights based on your phone's location. Geofencing would give you the option to turn your lights on as you approach your home so that you never have to return to a dark house.

Fortunately, you can accomplish this using IFTTT.

IFTTT - If This, Then That

If This, Then That is a free web service that links two different products or services so they can assist each other. Kasa maintains an official IFTTT page for triggers and actions.

With IFTTT, you can do things like turn on the lights when you get close to home, turn off lights when you leave home, or activate lights if your camera detects motion.

Installation

Light switches operate on line-voltage power, which can cause personal injury or property damage. We recommend that switches be installed by an electrician. However, many people install them as DIY projects since the process if fairly simple.

WARNING: make sure you turn all power to your lighting circuit off at the circuit breaker. Also, be sure to test the power before you touch the wiring. In addition, do not install Kasa switches without a neutral wire; otherwise, you risk personal injury or property damage.

The Kasa Smart app walks you through the wiring process as you go through the setup. TP-Link also provides wiring instructions on their website. Installation involves disconnecting the electrical wires from your existing switch and reconnecting to the new switch.

Kasa Smart App

All Kasa devices, including switches, outlets, and cameras, are controlled with the Kasa Smart app. Download the app from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Once you install the app on your mobile deivce, you create an account, then tap the plus (+) icon to be led through the installation process.

Kasa App - Devices, Add Device, Device Settings, Device Schedule, Scenes
Kasa App - Devices, Add Device, Device Settings, Device Schedule, Scenes

Along the bottom of the main app screen you will see a series of menu items: Devices, Cameras, Scenes, Smart Actions, and Alerts. We are only going to cover a few of these menu items that apply to the smart switches.

The Devices tab lists all of your Kasa smart devices and provides a graphic view of each item's status. You can tap the power icon to quickly turn the power on or off. Or you can tap the device name to jump into the device settings page. Adding a new device is simple, just tap the plus (+) icon in the upper right.

Inside the device settings page, you can adjust the current settings, modify presets, create a schedule, or set a timer for turning the light off. Chose the Schedule icon at the bottom and you are taken to a screen to create an event.

Scenes allow you to adjust the settings for multiple Kasa devices at the tap of a button. Common uses are for turning all of the lights off using a Goodnight Scene or turning a number of lights and the coffee pot on with a Good Morning scene.

The app is easy to use and very straightforward. The icons are a bit cartoon-ish for our taste, but they get the job done and some people may appreciate a softer look for their home automation control center.

Security And Privacy

Some TP-Link routers have experienced security vulnerabilities, which the company has promptly patched. This is not uncommon among networking manufacturers and the company maintains a security notification page on its website. We aren't aware of any specific security concerns with the Kasa light switches, but since they communicate over Wi-Fi, it is important that you maintain a secure network.

Kasa products are covered under TP-Link's privacy policy, which you should read. The Kasa app sends information to TP-Link's servers so some of your information is available to the company so that it can provide services to you.

About The Manufacturer

TP-Link, founded in 1996, is a Chinese manufacturer known for their networking equipment, including consumer-grade wireless routers. The company also sells a series of smart home devices under the Kasa brand.

In addition to light switches, the Kasa brand also includes cameras, LED bulbs, smart plugs, and a Wi-Fi router that includes Zigbee and Z-Wave radios.